The Dynamics of the International Brewing Industry since 1800

The Dynamics of the International Brewing Industry since 1800

The Dynamics of the International Brewing Industry since 1800

The Dynamics of the International Brewing Industry since 1800

Synopsis

This ground-breaking book is the first to examine the brewing industry from the perspectives of economic and business history. It combines chapters on the major European nations with chapters on the US and Australia.

Excerpt

These fifteen essays have their origins in a C-session held at the Eleventh International Economic History Congress at Milan in September 1994 on the production and consumption of beer. After the session Routledge approached us to publish the papers and we have added further contributions to extend the geographical coverage within Europe and to America and New Zealand. There has in the past decade been an increasing interest amongst economic and social historians in the production and consumption of alcohol and in its wider cultural aspects. This set of essays explores many themes in the history of brewing over the past two centuries. They range from accounts detailing the ways in which, against all the odds, the industry expanded after gaining a toe-hold in Italy and the new colonies of Australia and New Zealand to surveys of the industry in Europe, America and the southern hemisphere in the late 1990s. Together they reveal an unusually complex industry, strong on tradition, closely associated with agriculture, keenly regulated by government. Because of its controversial role and because it was always far less prominent in historians’ accounts of economic developments in the past 250 years than those of textiles, engineering, chemicals and mining, its history has been neglected. Yet the economic and technological impact of the industry in many countries was far from negligible, and its cultural dimensions are unusually instructive about the processes of social change across the same period. These essays should help to edge the industry higher in the research agendas of economic, social and business historians alike.

We are grateful to all our contributors for responding to our missives with care and speed. All in all, they were far more co-operative than most editors dare to expect. Dr Fiona Wood and Christopher Thurman of the Brewers and Licensed Retailers Association kindly answered our queries and provided us with statistical data for the post-1945 European brewing industries. Professor David Gutzke was generous with his advice and his knowledge of the industry. Mavis Wesley gave us a good deal of word processing assistance. But above all we are grateful for the help of Dr Christine Clark of the University of East Anglia. She claims, with typical modesty, that she has learnt a lot from the task. Certainly . . .

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